BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. Malkovich? John Malkovich!

Being John Malkovich, to be exact, surrealist masterpiece and showcase for John Malkovich, gamely played by John Malkovich (John Malkovich). In the movie, a sad puppeteer (John Cusack), his work girlfriend (Katherine Keener) and his wife (Cameron Diaz) discover a magic portal to the inside of actor John Malkovich’s mind, allowing them to take control and be Malkovich themselves. Curiously, they do not spend the whole time reading the phone book to each other, as most of us would do if suddenly given control of John Malkovich’s body and voice, but instead battle for supremacy within – completely ruining it for themselves and everyone else. That time he was possessed by hipsters presumably being an explanation for why he (or who) signed up for turds like Jonah Hex and RED 2, then.

Like John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich has aged well, with the main man retaining such a sense of cult stardom that it remains as relevant as ever. Even better, it’s a good John Cusack performance in a day and age where the Grosse Point Blank star isn’t as cool as he used to be (the odd gem aside) and Cameron Diaz doesn’t do nearly enough (even if this is one of the works which earned her the reputation and running joke of being an actress who gets tied up all the time). Needless to say, it’s immaculately acted throughout (Charlie Sheen!) It’s creepy, weird and, like much of director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman’s work, defiantly odd. Not bad, for a directorial feature debut. Such a nightmarish handle on its imagery (Malkovich being confronted by a world of Malkoviches sticks in the memory, hard) combined with a wry surrealism make the film ripe for repeat viewing, even if (like the rest of Universal’s recent slate of re-releases) the DVD comes with nothing new in terms of extras or commentaries.

There’s only one John Malkovich and there’s only one Being John Malkovich. Malkovich!

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SPIKE JONZE / SCREENPLAY: CHARLIE KAUFMAN / STARRING: JOHN CUSACK, CAMERON DIAZ, KATHERINE KEENER, JOHN MALKOVICH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW




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